Embark on our new Artisans themed cruise along the Hoogly river through the heart of Bengal and discover traditions with manifestations of artisans, renowned weavers, writers and poets who inspired the Bengali Renaissance
Day 1 - Flight
Day 2 - Kolkata
Day 3 - Bally Bridge
Day 4 - Bandel
Day 5 - Kalna
Day 6 - Mayapur
Day 7 - Fulia
Days 8-11 - Kolkata
The Ganga has witnessed the rise of vibrant civilisations, providing for the formation of cultures laden with mesmerising creativity, science and healing. Bengal, the point where the Ganga meets the sea provides abundance of spiritual and material wealth. Join the delightful RV Bengal Ganga on our new themed cruise along the Hoogly river and immerse yourself in the heart of Bengal, the artisans, weavers, writers and poets who inspired the Bengali Renaissance. As you sail, follow the faint sounds of weaving from villages on the river and learn about thriving ancient crafts, ode to the communities who settled here turning river islands into renowned centres for fabrics.
It is almost 90 years since the cotton town of Darwen in Lancashire welcomed Gandhi where the mill-owners tried to influence him by showing the hardship and pain the textile industry was suffering due to the Indian independence movement boycotting manufactured cloth from Britain. Gandhi said “My dear, you have no idea what poverty is.” Due to high cost of foreign cloths and the monopoly of Indian mill owners, Gandhi held a passionate view on handlooms’ role in the nation’s economy and promoted spinning for rural self-employment. Today, handlooms occupy second place to agriculture in providing livelihood to the people of Bengal.
Culture and Riverscapes
No Single Supplement
Full Board on Cruise
Local Expert Guides
Group Size: 8 - 30
Day 1 Fly overnight to Kolkata via Dubai.
Day 2 Embark RV Bengal Ganga. Visit the Weaver’s Studio and Textile Study Centre. Introduction to the fabulous fabrics and weaves you will see. (L, D)
Day 3 Tour of Kolkata, viewing the British colonial buildings. Visit St. John’s Church, Victoria Memorial Museum. Overnight by Bally Bridges. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Sail to Bandel, founded by Portuguese settlers. Visit the Hoogly Imambara, a Shiya pilgrimage centre. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Sail to Kalna. Cycle rickshaw to Rajbari Temple Complex. Visit a local weaver’s home to see the traditional weaving of muslin cloth, a cotton fabric of plain weave. Visit the local market. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Sail to Nabadwip. Explore the riverbank to see the locals engaged in handloom weaving. Sail to Mayapur, home of the Krishna Consciousness Movement. Experience the fascinating culture. Walk through the pilgrim’s bazaar. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Sail downstream to Guptipara, producing the finest rice in West Bengal. Visit the Temple complex with fantastic terracotta works. Visit a potter’s home. Visit Phulia specialised in jacquard and jamdani saree weaving. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Sail to Chandernagore, a French colony in 1673. Explore the colonial buildings. Visit the Sacred Heart Church, the oldest university in India. Moor in Kolkata. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Visit Mother Teresa’s Home and Tomb. View the Kalighat Temple for the Pattachitra paintings. Visit the Indian Museum. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Explore College Street Book Market and the flower market. Visit Kumartuli, a potters’ quarter famous for sculpting, clay idols and Sholapith (reed) handicrafts. Farewell dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Disembark for your return flight. (B)
Excursions are on foot and may be over uneven ground and inclines.
The vessel takes up to 56 passengers but groups will be divided for sightseeing.
The programme may be altered due to navigational factors with locks, water levels or congestion at certain sites.
Operated by Heritage River Cruises, the 200 ft. RV Bengal Ganga was built in 2004, is powered by twin diesel engines with a crew of 32. Designed as a replica of the colonial style ‘Clyde’ steamers, popular at the height of Empire. The RV Bengal Ganga has 4 decks and 28 cabins split between the Main and Upper Decks. Meals are served in a single sitting with a buffet breakfast and lunch, and served dinner. Tea, coffee and water are available on a complimentary basis throughout the day. Food will include local specialities from the regions through which we cruise. All cabins have their own air-conditioning units, mini-safe, luggage storage, wardrobe, writing desk and amenities including hairdryer, bath robes and slippers. Cabins have their own deck space with rattan chairs and a table. The vessel has a lounge bar, dining room and observation deck. Main Deck twin cabin (145 sq. ft.) Upper Deck twin cabin (145 sq. ft.) Upper Deck Premier cabin (224 sq. ft.)
Wifi is free and available in the public areas, connectivity may be limited in more remote areas.
Time to relax or see even more of India!
No one can cover all of India on one tour, so why not make the most of your time in India by choosing further experiences?
We invite you to customise your tour by adding one or more extensions from our great range shown on the following pages. Relax in a resort or discover more of India with our specialist guides.
Also please consider adding extra nights before the tour if you would like to draw breath after the flight to India or stay on to reflect, relax or explore independently. Extra nights can also be added to most extensions. Please talk to one of our knowledgeable Personal Travel Experts to let us know what you are looking for and they will work out the best way. Sometimes extra transfers, internal flights and nights are recommended or needed, and sometimes two extensions can be combined into a more logical sequence.
per person in a twin/double Main Deck cabin
Emirates from Heathrow
per person in a twin/double Main Deck cabin
Emirates from Heathrow
Supplements per person
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
2020: Sep 23
2021: Jan 12, March 6 & 31
Main Deck double for sole use £495
Upper Deck £295
Upper Deck double for sole use £1295
Premium cabin £495
Emirates from Manchester or Birmingham - nil
Emirates Business Class from £2095
We offer a wide variety of pre- and post-tour extensions, click here for more information.
Pre/post tour extra nights and transfers are available.
Arrival or departure transfer add £24
Air travel and taxes, all port charges, transfers, 9 night cruise, full board on cruise, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, tipping, porterage, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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